St Patty’s Day Cabbage and Potatoes, by Christine Collins Cacciatore
5 heads cabbage (allow one head per guest, at least)
2 lbs uncooked bacon, cut up
1 lb carrots, chopped
½ cup sugar
5 lbs potatoes, peeled and quartered
Also, and most importantly, personal fans and air freshener for the inevitable, foul odor to follow
Guinness beer and lots of it
First, put on a Gaelic Storm CD.
Cook in a well ventilated area. This recipe is not for the faint of heart, so make sure you have an open window or two. Fill a frosted mug with Guinness before you start cooking, just to sip on.
Using a very large stockpot, fill with approximately 15 cups of water. Quarter the heads of washed cabbage and spread loosely in pot. Finish up your first bottle of Guinness. Throw carrots and potatoes into pot where ever you choose. Don’t be arty-farty about it; this is hearty Irish food we’re talking about. Open your second Guinness and pour a little into the pot, but not too much. Why? Because it’s yours.
Coarsely chop bacon into 2 inch strips. Put on top of the carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the whole mixture. Sugar makes everything better. Drink more Guinness.
Simmer for approximately 3 hours over low heat. Using a lid on the pot is not only recommended, it’s a necessity to keep the smell out of your clothes while you’re cooking. You may have been cooking cabbage all day, but there’s no need to smell like one. You will be smelly enough later.
While it’s simmering, have another Guinness and put another Gaelic Storm CD in. They have seven, for crying out loud, just pick one. Pretend you’re Michael Flatley and Irish dance your way around your kitchen. Use your daughter’s old “hard shoes” and for crying out loud, put some pants on this time. Remember, the window is open. Have another Guinness.
This recipe serves as many as you wish, whenever you wish, but it’s best served on St Patrick’s Day with corned beef, fresh soda bread, Guinness, and a sense of humor.